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Published: August 11th 2010
Long before the economic crisis erupted full force and the protests hit the streets, we had gotten our award seats for a family vacation in the country which epitomizes a dream summer vacation. Yannick picked the country and we were all quick to agree on it as our destination, even knowing it would be boiling hot. And here we are, starting a 10 day stay exploring Athens and 2 islands.
We stayed right under the majestic Acropolis, at the edge of the touristic yet picturesque streets of PLAKA, the oldest neighborhood in Athens. The charming taverns with the pushy waiters begging for potential customers, the Byzantine churches, the restored neoclassical mansions, the hundred of shops selling the same goods, all make for a nice scenario for an entertaining stroll in the evenings, when the sun is not as cruel. The view of the Acropolis is magnificent at any time. Climbing to the top to explore the ruins, however, must be done early in the morning, when it's already hot, but we still have stamina.
Watching the change of the guard on Sunday, when it was festive, was great.
We were very frustrated to find the Acropolis Museum
closed on Monday, the day we reserved to explore it. Lonely Planet didn’t warn us it’s always closed on Mondays. Thus, as an alternative we went to a very nice a fairly complete private museum, the Benaki. and than waklked to the Ancient Agora
The Flea Market was defenitely nothing special and a waist of time. Exausted, we started to take the metro, a great way to get around when the heat gets to be umberable.
With 97% of the population being Greek Orthodox, Byzantine churches abound at Plaka, and priests are often found walking on the streets with a devout by his side. One of them was curiously oriental!!!! My surprise comes from the rarity of it, not from criticism.
Most restaurants serve a sweet without charge after lunch or dinner. It's usually watermelon but once it was a Greek sweet called “halva”. The review by the Calis was incoherent, going from “horrible” to “little strange texture”, to “good”. Italian gelatos offer a better refreshing treat and are available everywhere, even at a rooftop bar overlooking the acropolis at night.
3 days in Athens is plenty, so to the is Greek Islands we
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